"Do not make idols or set up carved images, sacred pillars, or shaped stones to be worshiped in your land. I, the LORD, am your God.
You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.
"If you keep my laws and are careful to obey my commands,
I will send the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees will produce their fruit.
Your threshing season will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will extend until it is time to plant grain again. You will eat your fill and live securely in your land.
"I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep without fear. I will remove the wild animals from your land and protect you from your enemies.
In fact, you will chase down all your enemies and slaughter them with your swords.
Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath the blows of your weapons.
"I will look favorably upon you and multiply your people and fulfill my covenant with you.
You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to get rid of the leftovers from the previous year to make room for each new harvest.
I will live among you, and I will not despise you.
I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.
I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt so you would no longer be slaves. I have lifted the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk free with your heads held high.
"However, if you do not listen to me or obey my commands,
and if you break my covenant by rejecting my laws and treating my regulations with contempt,
I will punish you. You will suffer from sudden terrors, with wasting diseases, and with burning fevers, causing your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them.
I will turn against you, and you will be defeated by all your enemies. They will rule over you, and you will run even when no one is chasing you!
"And if, in spite of this, you still disobey me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.
I will break down your arrogant spirit by making the skies above as unyielding as iron and the earth beneath as hard as bronze.
All your work will be for nothing, for your land will yield no crops, and your trees will bear no fruit.
"If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins.
I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.
"And if you fail to learn a lesson from this and continue your hostility toward me,
then I myself will be hostile toward you, and I will personally strike you seven times over for your sins.
I will send armies against you to carry out these covenant threats. If you flee to your cities, I will send a plague to destroy you there, and you will be conquered by your enemies.
I will completely destroy your food supply, so the bread from one oven will have to be stretched to feed ten families. They will ration your food by weight, and even if you have food to eat, you will not be satisfied.
"If after this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me,
then I will give full vent to my hostility. I will punish you seven times over for your sins.
You will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters.
I will destroy your pagan shrines and cut down your incense altars. I will leave your corpses piled up beside your lifeless idols, and I will despise you.
I will make your cities desolate and destroy your places of worship, and I will take no pleasure in your offerings of incense.
Yes, I myself will devastate your land. Your enemies who come to occupy it will be utterly shocked at the destruction they see.
I will scatter you among the nations and attack you with my own weapons. Your land will become desolate, and your cities will lie in ruins.
Then at last the land will make up for its missed Sabbath years as it lies desolate during your years of exile in the land of your enemies. Then the land will finally rest and enjoy its Sabbaths.
As the land lies in ruins, it will take the rest you never allowed it to take every seventh year while you lived in it.
"And for those of you who survive, I will demoralize you in the land of your enemies far away. You will live there in such constant fear that the sound of a leaf driven by the wind will send you fleeing. You will run as though chased by a warrior with a sword, and you will fall even when no one is pursuing you.
Yes, though no one is chasing you, you will stumble over each other in flight, as though fleeing in battle. You will have no power to stand before your enemies.
You will die among the foreign nations and be devoured in the land of your enemies.
Those still left alive will rot away in enemy lands because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors.
"But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me.
Finally, when I have given full expression to my hostility and have brought them to the land of their enemies, then at last their disobedient hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins.
Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, with Isaac, and with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
And the land will enjoy its years of Sabbath rest as it lies deserted. At last the people will receive the due punishment for their sins, for they rejected my regulations and despised my laws.
"But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out. I, the LORD, am their God.
I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of Egypt while all the nations watched. I, the LORD, am their God."
These are the laws, regulations, and instructions that the LORD gave to the Israelites through Moses on Mount Sinai.
The LORD said to Moses,
"Give the following instructions to the Israelites: If you make a special vow to dedicate someone to the LORD by paying the value of that person,
here is the scale of values to be used. A man between the ages of twenty and sixty is valued at fifty pieces of silver ;
a woman of that age is valued at thirty pieces of silver.
A boy between five and twenty is valued at twenty pieces of silver; a girl of that age is valued at ten pieces of silver.
A boy between the ages of one month and five years is valued at five pieces of silver; a girl of that age is valued at three pieces of silver.
A man older than sixty is valued at fifteen pieces of silver; a woman older than sixty is valued at ten pieces of silver.
If you desire to make such a vow but cannot afford to pay the prescribed amount, go to the priest and he will evaluate your ability to pay. You will then pay the amount decided by the priest.
"If your vow involves giving a clean animal -- one that is acceptable as an offering to the LORD -- then your gift to the LORD will be considered holy.
The animal should never be exchanged or substituted for another -- neither a good animal for a bad one nor a bad animal for a good one. But if such an exchange is in fact made, then both the original animal and the substitute will be considered holy.
But if your vow involves an unclean animal -- one that is not acceptable as an offering to the LORD -- then you must bring the animal to the priest.
He will assess its value, and his assessment will be final.
If you want to redeem the animal, you must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent.
"If you dedicate a house to the LORD, the priest must come to assess its value. The priest's assessment will be final.
If you wish to redeem the house, you must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent. Then the house will again belong to you.
"If you dedicate to the LORD a piece of your ancestral property, its value will be assessed by the amount of seed required to plant it -- fifty pieces of silver for an area that produces five bushels of barley seed.
If the field is dedicated to the LORD in the Year of Jubilee, then the entire assessment will apply.
But if the field is dedicated after the Year of Jubilee, the priest must assess the land's value in proportion to the years left until the next Year of Jubilee.
If you decide to redeem the dedicated field, you must pay the land's value as assessed by the priest, plus 20 percent. Then the field will again belong to you.
But if you decide not to redeem the field, or if the field is sold to someone else by the priests, it can never be redeemed.
When the field is released in the Year of Jubilee, it will be holy, a field specially set apart for the LORD. It will become the property of the priests.
"If you dedicate to the LORD a field that you have purchased but which is not part of your ancestral property,
the priest must assess its value based on the years until the next Year of Jubilee. You must then give the assessed value of the land as a sacred donation to the LORD.
In the Year of Jubilee the field will be released to the original owner from whom you purchased it.
All the value assessments must be measured in terms of the standard sanctuary shekel.
"You may not dedicate to the LORD the firstborn of your cattle or sheep because the firstborn of these animals already belong to him.
However, if it is the firstborn of a ceremonially unclean animal, you may redeem it by paying the priest's assessment of its worth, plus 20 percent. If you do not redeem it, the priest may sell it to someone else for its assessed value.
"However, anything specially set apart by the LORD -- whether a person, an animal, or an inherited field -- must never be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted in this way has been set apart for the LORD as holy.
A person specially set apart by the LORD for destruction cannot be redeemed. Such a person must be put to death.
"A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.
If you want to redeem the LORD's tenth of the fruit or grain, you must pay its value, plus 20 percent.
The LORD also owns every tenth animal counted off from your herds and flocks. They are set apart to him as holy.
The tenth animal must not be selected on the basis of whether it is good or bad, and no substitutions will be allowed. If any exchange is in fact made, then both the original animal and the substituted one will be considered holy and cannot be redeemed."
These are the commands that the LORD gave to the Israelites through Moses on Mount Sinai.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)